Darrin Thornton was a doctoral student of mine. He wrote a fasinating dissertation on community musicians. It was an honor to work with him through his doctoral research!
Dr. Thornton is assistant professor of music at Penn State. He joined the School of Music faculty in 2010 and currently teaches music education methods and techniques courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Thornton serves as an e-Learning Institute Faculty Fellow and director of the Center for the Study of Learning and Teaching while advising freshmen and sophomore music education students. His research foci are in music education teacher training, professional development for in-service music professionals, educational access and outreach in music, and adult music engagement and participation.
Prior to this appointment, he taught band/instrumental music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the state of New York; served on the conducting faculties at the University of Missouri and SUNY-Fredonia; and held administrative posts at the University of Missouri, SUNY-Fredonia, and Penn State.
Thornton holds an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, master’s degrees from National Louis University and the University of Missouri, and a doctorate from Penn State. Professional affiliations include: College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), College Music Society (CMS), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He currently remains active as a performing percussionist, conductor, and adjudicator and assists with the Penn State Marching Blue Band.
Sarah Watts, Ph.D.
Sarah Watts was a masters student of mine at Penn State University. She went on to continue her doctoral work at my alma mater, the University of Washington. Dr. Watts is current a
visiting professor at Cleveland State University. She continues to be the intelligent and professional person I have always admired!
Dr. Sarah Watts is a specialist in early childhood and elementary music education, with a particular interest in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy. Sarah currently serves as Coordinator of Curriculum for Musically Minded, Inc., a private company specializing in early childhood music education. She is very interested in world music and is particularly involved with musics of the Pacific Islands region, specifically, music and movement traditions of Hawaii. Her scholarly interests include musical oral history, children’s musical play, and the transgenerational transmission of children’s musical play repertoires. Her publications can be found in the Journal of Research in Music Education, The Orff Echo, and Philosophy of Music Education Review.
A Pennsylvania native and resident, Sarah enjoys cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins and Penn State Nittany Lions, spending time with her family, crafting, reading, and playing with her two cats, Frodo and Dobby.
Mr. Drane was a Masters student of mine when I first arrived at PSU. He continues to be one of the strongest and most thoughtful philosophers I have worked with. I'm very happy to have him as a colleague now as he currently serves as assistant Director of Athletics Bands at Penn State University. He works with the Blue Band, the Basketball Band, and the world famous PSU Volleyball Band (100 student +!!!).
A native of Miami, Florida, earned bachelor’s degrees in music education and music performance (saxophone) at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. Upon completion of a master’s degree in music education at Penn State, Drane joined the School of Music faculty as instructor and assistant director of Athletic Bands in 2005.